I don’t know what I saw in Seattle. I must have been insane to want to move here, and from Hawaii no less!
In my meager defense, I got sick of the sun. It’s unbearably hot and muggy in Hawaii. Ridiculously expensive, too. We live on an island. Most of our goods are shipped over from the Mainland and parts unknown.
I also got sick of the overcrowding, small town, “No make A” personality. We’re also of “The Nail That Sticks Up” persuasion, which sucks for a loud-mouthed weirdo like me.
Back in the mid-’90s, when “Singles” made the grade, I honestly thought Seattle was my oasis, the place I’d go to grow into my true self, with my people. Everyone’s weird here (and in Portland), right? Kurt Cobain, Bruce Lee, and Jimi Hendrix doing their thing weird. I’d fit right in.
Kinda sorta for a minute.
But Seattle people are good at pretending to like you, dancing around the subject, killing you with kindness but not genuine friendship. A Bay Area Uber driver said this to a former Oaklander in an overly kind Stranger piece: “(…Seattleites are nice but not friendly).”
I’ve known people who lived in Seattle for a long time finally give up on trying to make friends and leave for much nicer, friendlier, genuine places like Phoenix or Nashville. I don’t blame them.
I can count on one hand the number of true, blue friends I’ve made and kept — and most of them aren’t even from here.
As it turns out, Seattle’s not much different than Hawaii. The cost of living has become astronomical, the constant rain is just as unbearable as the constant sun, and the meaning of “Aloha” has been bastardized for profit. Seattle’s an image, not a home, not for me.
The worst part of living here is watching me turn into a passive-aggressive asshole. That’s horrible for an introspective, painfully shy weirdo. I’m already passive-aggressive, out of survival. The last thing I need or want is confrontation. I grew up with strong personalities who aren’t afraid of getting in your face, my East Coast dad among them.
I learned early on to hide, blend, make nice, so that bullies will leave me alone. It’s a reflex I desperately want to unlearn, for my own health.
Deep down inside me is a real person who is neither passive-aggressive or confrontational. I must be true to myself, I must express how I feel, what I think.
I’m a writer by nature.
I can’t keep anything in, the good, the bad, the ugly. When I’m stressed, overwhelmed, in pain, I am incapable of holding all that toxicity inside. I have to let it out. That’s how I cope. That’s been my saving grace.
But, I’m surrounded by passive-aggressive assholes, who are very good at not saying what they mean — often, until it’s too late.
They’ve reinforced that well-honed instinct in me, too. I hate that so much.
Last night, I made a simple request of a photographer who shot one of my husband’s gigs. Could I use a photo he took for an upcoming jazz event? To use with a bio I’d write?
The photographer responded with a price, $25 for unlimited use of an image of my own husband, at a gig he asked to shoot for practice, with a lens he borrowed from another photographer, who turned out to be more generous. This other photographer is from California originally, fyi.
I found myself curtly replying, “No thanks.” Then fuming, passive-aggressively going through all the protocols and the fear of reprisal if I said anything mean. What if this photographer got mad and then said something mean to me? What if he took it out on my husband? They share common acquaintances from that gig with that band.
Then, I said to myself, Fuck this bullshit, unfriended and blocked him with my husband’s permission (“To be honest, I really don’t like him”), and vented out in the open on Facebook and Twitter. Of course, someone on Facebook asked for details. I hesitated. ?For about a minute.
Fuck it, and without naming names (I’m still recovering), detailed what had happened with this photographer as a catalyst for my ongoing, long-standing issue with people who dismiss/ignore/steamroll me to get to my musician husband. I’m just the wife-of, to put up with.
Well, I’m tired of it.
I’m going to call you out if you’re a passive-aggressive asshole. For whatever reason, whether you glad-hand my husband while disrespecting me, whether you think he agrees with you for treating me less than and can continue conducting your business sucking up to his musical skills, whether you believe it’s okay to act like I don’t matter and my husband will DO NOTHING ABOUT IT.
My husband actually agrees with me, and what I think of you. What do you think about that? Most of the time, he’s not in your face ripping you a new asshole, because of me, because I don’t want to cause any more trouble, because I’m just as passive-aggressive as you are.
Only, I’m not as good at it.
You’ll see soon enough.